European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 5:04 pm on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah Conservative, East Surrey 5:04 pm, 12th March 2019

Let me just develop this point.

Ordinarily, a manifesto promise is taken through this House, with a Green Paper, a White Paper, First Reading and so on. The manifesto commitment is calibrated and then eventually delivered. The negotiation has been the process through which we have been going with our manifesto commitment.

I could vote for this deal if there was a vision for the future of this country at the heart of it. I could vote for this deal if there was a sense of where we were going at the heart of it. I could vote for this deal if, as many expected, it would improve on the current deal. Reading the newspapers at the moment, I find it depressing how many commentators are saying to us, “The grim reality is that MPs must hold their nose and vote for this.” Someone said today that this is a “grotesquely flawed” deal, but MPs should still vote for it. We are being encouraged to recommend for our constituents something that we blatantly know is not really in the country’s interest. One thing that leavers and remainers all agree on is that had the deal before us been put to us and there had not been a referendum, none of us would recommend it to our constituents as the right path for the future of our country.